Valuejet PTT Open may be listed on ITTF calendar in 2020

Valuejet PTT Open may be listed on ITTF calendar in 2020
Valuejet PTT Open

There are strong indications that the just concluded Valuejet Para Table Tennis (PTT) Open may be listed on the ITTF event calendar in 2020.

Impressed with the organisation coupled with the standard of play at the maiden edition of the tournament held at Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The ITTF Nomination Committee Chairman and President, ITTF Africa, (Western Region), Wahid Oshodi disclosed there are efforts to convince the world table tennis ruling body to ensure that Nigeria joins the list of countries hosting a major PTT tournament across the globe.

Oshodi, who is the LOC Chairman of Africa’s elite table tennis tournament – Nigeria Open, believes that with the support of Valuejet coupled with the experienced personnel in the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), the tournament may be considered for next year.

Like Oshodi, the President of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, who was in Lagos for the three-day tournament said the continent body is convinced that Nigeria has the wherewithal to stage a befitting international tournament having witnessed what happened last week in Lagos.

“The Valuejet PTT Open will open doors for Para Athletes in Nigeria and in Africa to have a special event with top professional organization, media coverage and good prize money similar to other world events.

“ATTF had already opened the link with ITTF to get this tournament listed on the ITTF Calendar for 2020 after checking that all professional standard has been met. We are convinced that Nigeria has big experience in sports and specially table tennis as well. I believe it is this that attract sponsors to their events. I will like to use this opportunity to thank the management Valuejet on behalf of ATTF Executive Committee for their efforts to support NTTF and our table tennis family in Africa through the sponsoring of the tournament,” the ATTF boss said.

The Egyptian was however impressed with the turnout of teams across Africa which he said would motivate top class players to attend the tournament in near future.

“With what I saw in Lagos that top PTT African players with the large turnout of Nigerian players and high standard of play, I am sure it will start attracting many top players worldwide as soon as it is listed on ITTF calendar, hopefully next yeear,” El-Salhy added.

Team Nigeria sweeps medals

Source : ATTF 

Agunbiade, Alabi dazzle at maiden Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open

Team Nigeria sweeps medals

Team Nigeria - Tajudeen Agunbiade

Tokyo 2020 bound Paralympians and Sydney 2000 gold medalists- Tajudeen Agunbiade and Olufemi Alabi were the star players for Team Nigeria in the final of the men’s class 9 & 10 at the maiden Valuejet Para Table Tennis Open which ended at the weekend in Lagos.

The three-day tournament attracted players from host – Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Morocco, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire with 44 titles at stake at the N10.8m prize money tournament.

In the final of the men’s final, it was Agunbiade partnership with Olufemi Alabi that ensured that Nigeria claimed most of the titles at the expense of Algeria and South Africa, with Theo Cogil of South Africa and Karim Bounedouha of Algeria.

But it was Agunbiade and Alabi’s excellent display that paved way for Nigeria to win the encounter at 2-0.

The tie described as the most colorful match of the competition witnessed beautiful strokes and shots from the players with Agunbiade accuracy and conciseness on table giving Nigeria at edge.

The doubles tie ended 7-11, 11-1, 11-9, 11-7 in favor of the duo of Agunbiade and Alabi.

In the singles tie involving Agunbiade and Bounedouha, the display by the players received applause from the fans but it was the Nigerian that laughed last with 11-8, 16-18, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (3-2) to give Nigeria a 2-0 win.

In the singles class 9 and 10, Agunbiade and Alabi claimed the titles to add to their medals at the tournament.

An excited Agunbiade described the victory as energy-sapping. “It was very tough match but me and my teammates are very happy to win the team event. I just want to use this opportunity to thank the sponsor, Valuejet for giving us this platform and urge other corporate organizations to support Para Table Tennis and expose us to more international tournaments to enable us to get to meet new players,” the 2000 Sydney Paralympic gold medalist said.

For the chairman of Valuejet, Kunle Soname, the tournament has come to stay. “The table tennis tournament will be bigger than this next year. You can see a lot players around and this has been a huge success for the fact that this is the first time an event like this is holding in Nigeria and I got a whisper from the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) that the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has written to make this an annual event in their calendar. For me, nothing can be more exciting than this,” Soname added.

The tournament was put together by Sunday Odebode Foundation in collaboration with NTTF while it was bankrolled by Valuejet Airline.

Team Nigeria sweeps medals

Source : ATTF